Plaisir, France | July 8, 2013– Zodiac Inflight Innovations (previously The IMS Company) continues to expand its global reach, adding International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), Transaero Airlines and ECair to its list of customers that select RAVETM for an innovative and reliable IFE experience.

An increasing number of airlines have turned RAVETM for their In-Flight Entertainment needs because of its reliability and passenger-centric technology. Each seat is fully autonomous and removable display units are easy for crew members to replace at any time during a flight, eliminating long system resets and frustrated passengers. Benefits of RAVETM also include a lightweight design and low power requirements, as well as a turnaround time of only six months for an entire reconfiguration of the IFE system.

ILFC will have the RAVETM system installed on four A330’s with the first installation occurring this summer. Transaero will have the RAVE installed on nine of their B777-200 and B767-300 aircraft, and ECAir will have RAVETM installed on two of its B757 aircraft this summer.

Plaisir, France | May 21, 2013– The IMS Company, based in Brea, California, which specializes in providing “Passenger Centric” In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) technology for the commercial aircraft market was acquired by Zodiac Aerospace in January 2013.

In conjunction with the existing IFE activity within the Zodiac Aerospace group based in Plaisir, France, a single business unit dedicated to IFE will be formed with its headquarters in Brea, California. With this acquisition, Zodiac Aerospace becomes the premier choice for passenger centric lightweight IFE. This integration provides greater resources and global support to the IFE team as they continue to grow in the In-Flight entertainment industry, and expand the passenger-centric IFE technology.

A new organization is put in place. Rod Farley has been named the new CEO of Zodiac Aerospace’s In- Flight Entertainment activities. Larry Girard has been named Executive Vice President. Steve Hawkins as CTO will run engineering and Shannon Biggs has been hired as Senior Vice President of Operations. Additionally Patric Boigas has been named Director of European Operations for the IFE unit in France.

When we asked IMS (of RAVE fame) if they would be interested in supplying a story for our Speakers’ Corner, at first, we were not quite prepared for the Tales of Yore their team submitted. We think you will find it interesting and entertaining, especially if you are a fan of Ye Ancient Texts – Hail King RAVE.

So You Want To Be An IFE Company? By the ‘Team’ at IMS

Since the IMS announcement that Lufthansa had chosen to install RAVE on a major portion of their fleet, it seems that RAVE is, well, “all the RAVE”. So I asked Joe Renton if he wanted to share some thoughts with our readers about their journey. What I got back was not what I expected; it appears that Joe’s team had a little fun with the assignment, which Joe admits is one of things that sets IMS apart. Enjoy!

Once upon a time in a land far, far, away… there lived a king named Joe… he had a small but prosperous kingdom where people lived and worked and generally life was good… but the king wasn’t satisfied, and as these things go, he started to expand his kingdom, first in small portable ways, but as time went on he decided he wanted a larger, more embedded kingdom. And that’s when things got really interesting, and that’s where our story really begins…

It all started nearly four years ago with a phone call from an airline executive. He was lamenting the fact that embedded IFE systems were unreliable, heavy, hard to maintain, difficult to use, and on top of that, they were incredibly expensive. Why couldn’t a new type of IFE system be designed that would provide the reliability of a portable player with the convenience of an embedded system? Why indeed… the question hung there, in a rather confrontational sort of way… daring us to take a bite.

King Joe tried to dismiss it, he tried to go around it, he tried to forget it, but no matter what he did the question kept coming back; how to make an embedded IFE system that was reliable, affordable and very easy. So King Joe decided to gather all of his wisest advisers together to get their advice.

Honestly, our first response was “we would be insane to attempt it”. Most of the team had suffered through the pain of developing IFE and had sworn never to do it again. Thankfully, because of the investment required, embedded AVOD was simply out of our reach. It would take $100+ million which, of course, wasn’t a reality for a small, self-funded, private company like IMS. In spite of that, we believed that things had changed over the years; technology had evolved and what was impossible just a few years ago was possible today. We also knew that it would take more than a good idea – many companies before us had had plenty of good ideas and still failed. It would also take the right company, one that had the courage to take on an industry dominated by two multi-billion dollar international corporations. IMS had not succeeded these last 16 years by playing it safe. We were opportunistic, innovative and yes, probably a little bit arrogant (OK, maybe a lot arrogant) in 2008 when we decided to jump in with both feet and take on the monster that was embedded IFE. Seriously, how hard could it be?

So King Joe gathered together his most trusted advisors and his most courageous knights to plan the battle. Day after day and night after night they met; sacrifices were offered (did we mention sacrifices were offered), battle plans were reviewed, strategies vetted and alliances were formed, until they were ready to move out.

We knew that the system had to be different enough that our potential customers would at least be curious enough to listen to what we had to say. We understood that our small company would not generate enough interest on its name: thus, the system would have to take a completely fresh approach, be exceptionally reliable, light weight, low-power and come with a price tag that forced airlines to take notice. The result was RAVE.

RAVE, the strategy and the vision, were the essence of its name; Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy (We’re still waiting for the “very easy” part). RAVE’s architecture was different; seat centric instead of a traditional server centric model. RAVE’s seat centric architecture had only a few LRU’s which, at its core, made it reliable, light weight and low-power. Additionally, in RAVE’s unique architecture, each seat display was a fully autonomous entertainment system providing all the features of much more complex, traditional server based systems. This allowed us to offer a system that met most of our must haves; it was scalable, simple, and affordable to buy and maintain. Those things gave us permission to play, but we knew that we needed more innovation, that we had to push our vision even further if we were going to be successful. So we leveraged our past experience with portable IFE and introduced the first dockable seat display unit that could be replaced by a flight attendant – in flight – in seconds – with a simple key. We also addressed the problem of content loading and distribution by choosing SD cards as the content medium.

We had the right vision and we had the right technology, but could we sell it, certify it and deploy it…

Those questions still plagued King Joe and his closest advisors. So the King sent out emissaries all across the land looking for allies that shared our vision. Several came and joined us; they believed in the vision, but they also were ready to join a growing RAVEOLUTION against the tyranny of the same old choices. We offered the appropriate sacrifices to the guardians of the air and we worked with our new allies to launch the giant metal birds back into the sky.

Our partners and potential partners reassured us that we were on the right track and to continue what we had started; that reliability was the key, price was a close second and that a spirit of partnering and listening was near the top as well. Standard LRU’s, subsystems and even software with a configurable, user friendly GUI made it possible for IMS to offer the unique benefits of RAVE to all of our airlines partners. Our journey has been littered with moments of “what were we thinking”, and “this is really hard”, and the classic “qualification shouldn’t take that long”. But we did bite, and at times the taste was sourer than we thought possible, but at other times it was wonderfully sweet.

Today RAVE has been flying for almost 12 months. We have had our share of issues, have taken our lumps, but we remain true to our guiding principles; Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy. By the end of the year, we will have over 35 RAVE equipped aircraft in the sky. We continue to work to make our product as reliable as possible. Over the past 24 months we have secured the commitment of over 160 aircraft with additional options. We have added three more airline partners which we will announce soon, bringing our aircraft count to nearly 200. We are keenly aware of our need to continue our relentless pursuit to make RAVE the most reliable and sustainable IFE system ever fielded, and we will do everything we need to in order to meet our current set of delivery commitments.

All kidding aside, we want to say that we are humbled by the responsibility and feel very grateful to our customers and partners for believing in IMS and the RAVE vision.

As the sun sets in the west, King Joe stands atop his castle and surveys the kingdom known as RAVE. He smiles to himself knowing that, in truth, their work has just begun; they have made a great start, but there are still many challenges to overcome and battles to be won… and beside, what’s a king to do except to start on RAVE 2.0. ☺.

Editor’s Note: Next week’s edition of IFExpress will feature a preview of some of the “must see” companies APEX EXPO 2012. As a result, we will be releasing IFExpress earlier than usual. You may anticipate it in your email ‘In-Box’ on Monday morning PST.

-ServiceCentral’s Service Management Solution has been implemented by The IMS Company’s Aircraft Systems Division to establish best in class product support for their clients.

Atlanta, GA | August 22, 2012/PRWeb/– Today, ServiceCentral Technologies announces that its SaaS Service Management Solution has been deployed to the Aircraft Systems Division of The IMS Company, an entertainment systems and services provider for the airline industry. ServiceCentral’s software tracks IMS’s entertainment devices through the return, service and repair process, streamlining the overall product support process and improving service level goals. Clients of IMS’s inflight entertainment systems will now benefit from on-demand real-time visibility into support activity being provided to their devices throughout the product services lifecycle. The implementation of ServiceCentral solidifies IMS’s commitment to providing their clients with best-in-class products, services and support.

The implementation comes at a significant time for IMS as they continue to expand their business. Erwin Edillon, Program Manager for The IMS Company, says, “We appreciate ServiceCentral’s ongoing commitment to see this implementation be successful, and in just three short months. Looking back at this entire process, I truly believe that IMS made the right decision to partner with ServiceCentral. Replacing our old repairs module with a robust system was one of our biggest goals as an organization for 2012, and now we can proudly say it has been completed.”

Steve Teel, President of ServiceCentral, comments, “We are delighted to have IMS onboard as a client utilizing our Service Management Software. The implementation is a win-win as ServiceCentral’s ultimate goal is to provide clients with best in class product support tools that can be quickly implemented and customized without sacrificing functionality. We look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship with the IMS Company.”

Ultra-thin tablet replaces the now five-year-old workhorse PED that American and IMS launched as IFE’s first ‘semi-embedded’ portable entertainment device

Brea, CA | September 12, 2011 — In choosing to deploy 6,000 new Samsung Galaxy Tab™10.1 tablets to replace the current personal entertainment devices in premium cabins on transatlantic and some international flights, American Airlines also chose to continue its long-term relationship with The IMS Company, naming the Southern California-based solutions provider as the systems integrator responsible for the repurposing and integration of the world’s thinnest large screen tablet into the inflight environment.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1, that combines the Android platform; ultra-slim, lightweight design; a brilliant 10-inch touchscreen; and an array of applications, replaces the now five-year-old Personal Entertainment Devices (PEDs) that the airline and The IMS Company pioneered as inflight entertainment’s first “semi-embedded” portable media player. The clamshell design of the Fujitsu-based device opened to slide into a seatback shell where the device connected to in-seat power, or could be removed and held on the passenger’s lap or tray table.

“American was the first airline customer for our very first portable media player in 2006,” said IMS’ CEO and founder Joseph Renton, “and we continued the relationship with the 10.6-inch ‘semi-embedded’ PED, followed by three versions of the ARCHOS portable media player. In addition, IMS has provided American with software development services and a range of content management, content acquisition and content loading services.

“We are very pleased that when the time came to replace these remarkably sturdy five-year old players that American did not hesitate to continue that partnership,” said Renton.

“IMS’ focus in repurposing the Samsung Galaxy Tab for the inflight entertainment market was the Android OS (operating system),” said Renton. “In consideration of the increasing importance of the operating systems that support these devices, we have moved toward platform integration rather than device integration as the basis for our handheld service offerings.”
Despite its recent success with the seat-centric RAVE™ IFE system, The IMS Company remains committed to the handheld IFE space for which it was previously best known, and will come to APEX in Seattle with a unique version of its EDGE™ handheld product, based on an Android operating system (OS) and a tablet form factor, according to The IMS Company’s vice president sales and marketing Harry Gray.

“This is a completely new approach to portables deployment in IFE,” said Gray, “which we believe is a game-changer.”
The newest EDGE™ portable media player offers a 10.1-inch capacitive, multi-touch touch screen, with 1280×800 (WXGA) screen resolution, using the Android OS (Honeycomb). The lithium ion battery supports approximately 9 hours of video or 72 hours of music. Content is stored on SD cards allowing the airline to determine the volume of storage needed for its content requirements. EDGE™ is APEX 0403-compliant and supports content playback in H.264, WMV7 and WMV9 with AAC audio playback. The user interface is compatible with RAVE™ embedded IFE.

An Android OS-based solution is not limited to a single device but is designed for use with a range of Android OS devices with limited changes involved in moving from this device to the next. The Southern California company entered the portables market by repurposing consumer off the shelf (COTS) hardware, including Fujitsu and ARCHOS devices, and quickly took leadership in the IFE portables space as a result.

But the direction of COTS technology has recently not been as conducive to a COTS approach, said Gray, until such operating systems as Android OS and Apple iOS began to underpin a new generation of portable devices using a tablet form factor. The operating system approach restores the benefits of leveraging COTS technology, says Gray. Since Android OS is an open standard, guidelines are published to enable developers like IMS to adapt the technology within certain guidelines. In areas such as the ingestion of content, Android OS is therefore easier to adapt to IFE requirements than a proprietary operating system.

EDGE™ gives The IMS Company an opportunity to apply more than 15 years’ experience providing IFE expertise to others by way of engineering services support to its own fully certified AVOD product with a system architecture that reflects its positive experience as the industry leader in portable media solutions.

Each year, for the last umpteen years, IFExpress has delivered readers a show preview based on a published invitation to all. This year is no different and we urge all attendees to be sure to visit their booth and tell them IFExpress sent you!

Company: Astronics AES
Booth: 701
Contact: Dennis Markert / / 425 442 8195

Astronics AES will be displaying their latest product addition to the world leading EmPower(R) In-Seat Power Systems (ISPS) product line. The new EmPower(R) In-Seat Power Supply produces an industry leading 200VA for each Personal Electronic Device (PED) and includes three Universal Serial Bus (USB) power outputs for passenger devices such as smart phones, iPods, cameras, and other standard +5 Volt DC devices. This is all accomplished in a smaller form factor than previous generations of the industry leading EmPower(R) product line.

Company: digEcor
Booth: 627
Contact: Adam Williams /

DIGECOR HIGHLIGHTS: We will showcase the digEplayer L7, which airlines around the world have rapidly adopted, as a low cost yet rugged and feature rich IFE solution. Airlines can also find out more about In-flight Content Services, including the ability to support handhelds, overheads, and AVOD systems independent of a digEplayer agreement. Interested in Ancillary Revenue? We’ve been a long time supporter. Our customers have been generating revenue and operating self-sustaining IFE programs for years. So stop by our booth and chat with us about rental programs, shopping solutions, and advertising. We may not have a cool and highly publicized theme for the show, but if we did, it would probably be, “Come for the coffee, stay for the movies.”

Company: Goodrich
Booth number 1309
Contact Dan Vargas / / (323) 837-2717

Goodrich digital video reproducers (VRUs) are a cost-effective way to update existing tape systems for an enhanced passenger entertainment experience. Be certain to stop by and visit us during APEX.

Company: IFPL
Booth#: 819
Contact: Claire Underwoord /

Near Field Communication Demo
IFPL has developed an interface between NFC and IFE systems. This takes the mobile wallet concept onto aircraft and addresses the security issues of high value payments. The system on show can be used in a number of ways: as chip and pin; with NFC enabled ‘connect’ cards and with NFC enabled mobile ‘phones. This opens up a range of possibilities from renting movies, buying drinks and food and accessing destination information (i.e. increasing advertising revenue).

Self-testing jack
Currently airline maintenance personnel have to plug a headset into each audio jack to check it is receiving sound. This is time consuming and therefore costly and inefficient in short turnaround times. The self-testing jack has an LED that shows it is receiving a signal, meaning that all personnel have to do is play the IFE and walk through the cabin, spotting faulty jacks at a glance. The really clever thing about this jack is that is does not need any extra power to the seat to work, the light draws power from the audio signal.

Breakaway jack
IFPL’s highly reliable Long Life jack (tested to 100,000 insertions) has been developed to have a 90˚ pull out feature. This means that if a passenger stands up without removing their headset, it will pull away at any angle, without breaking the pin. IFPL has worked with headset suppliers to produce headsets with a smaller pin at the same cost as regular headsets. The breakaway jack will still accept a regular pin if necessary. IFPL see this as a low cost alternative to magnetic jacks.

As usual, IFPL will be holding a simple competition on their booth. The prize is a Nikon Coolpix digital projector camera. This neat little camera allows immediate projection of your photos onto any flat white surface.

We’re pleased to announce that IFPL will be showcasing an extra product at the APEX show next week!
The “Self Testing Audio Jack” is a neat solution to a common problem. Maintenance personnel have to walk the aircraft with a headset and plug it in to each audio jack at every seat to check that the audio is working. This is a time consuming job, and often means that seats don’t always get tested before a turnaround. Our new product is simple – it has a built-in LED that illuminates when audio is present. A quick scan of the seats tells you whether the jacks are working or not. This means you can go straight to any faulty jacks without wasting time checking every one manually. This simple device will improve IFE Availability and save airlines time and money. The really clever part is that this device doesn’t require power, or batteries – it runs off the audio supply! So, if you want to retrofit an old IFE system without power at the seat, it couldn’t be easier.

Just another reason to come and see us on booth 819 during the APEX show. Hope to see you this week!

Company: The IMS Company
Booth 1210
Contact: Harry Gray, vice president sales & marketing /

Building up a head of steam at last spring’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), seat-centric IFE has become a juggernaut and none more so than The IMS Company’s RAVE™ with a backlog of more than 50 aircraft awaiting installation in 2011. If all of the options these orders are activated, the number of aircraft more than doubles. With Lufthansa, airberlin, SriLankan and Brussels Airlines onboard, additional announcements are expected at the Conference—bringing the total to seven or more.

But seat-centric IFE is not all that IMS is up to nowadays. Its new EDGE portables focus on Android OS as a platform that can support multiple versions of tablets. Look for announcements during the Conference.

Company: Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Booth: 301
Contact: Please stop by the Panasonic booth to arrange a tour or set up an appointment.

PANASONIC AVIONICS HIGHLIGHTS: At this year’s APEX Expo, Panasonic Avionics Corporation will be unveiling the three newest members of its X Series family. During the show, attendees are also invited to stop by the Panasonic booth for a chance to ask our eXPerts questions about the most exciting topics in IFEC today including seat centric vs. server-based architectures, Ka vs. Ku, and more. In addition, we are pleased to once again showcase our Cool Room where we’ll demonstrate how some of the most cutting-edge products in the consumer market can be applied to IFEC.

Company: PlaneBill
Booth: 850
Contact: Massimo De Sanctis / Mob: +39 335 222908 /

On board portals for passengers (JetPortal) and for crew (CrewPortal).

PlaneApps for the emerging mobile platforms, Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft/Nokia Windows Phone 7, RIM QNX. Apps for smartphones (iPhone/iPod/iPad, Android phones and windows phone 7) and tablets (iPad, Android tablets) will be on show.

Before flight data crawler (DataCatering) for flight location based Services (origin/destination). Data mining to provide airline with useful information captured during flight on passengers devices,services, messages, behavior and feedback PlaneRoaming for reaching passengers on their mobile number without a cellular infrastructure.

Company: Rockwell Collins
Booth# 1001
Contact: Kelly Holland / 949-872-3308 (mobile) /

Rockwell Collins plans to unveil a new IFE solution for the single-aisle market tomorrow at APEX that will deliver unprecedented versatility for airlines and maximum reliability for passengers. The company also plans to announce stunning enhancements to its dPAVES IFE system, and a new entertainment solution for the regional jet market. Stop by Rockwell Collins’ exhibit to learn more about these new offerings and solutions to enhance the passenger experience.

Company: THALES
Booth#: 1401
Contact: Suzane Treneer /

THALES HIGHLIGHTS: CONNECT, NETWORK, PLAY is the Thales theme this year with focus on the Passenger Experience. Thales will be making significant announcements around in the air and on the ground wireless connectivity. Center stage will be the latest addition to the TopSeries product family, TopSeries AVANT. Installed into a new premium class Contour seat, TopSeries AVANT will include some future system navigation and audio concepts. Other demos include system integration into B/E Aerospace, Weber and Recaro economy seats. In the B/E Seat is a new innovative arm mount designed by Bucher. The up and coming new Thales Application Portal will be featured as well as future modules for Passenger Electronic Device interface capabilities.

Company: TriaGnoSys
Booth# 829
Contact: Charlie Pryor / +44 (0) 20 7031 8270 /

TriaGnoSys and Siemens CMT have today launched IFEConneX, a complete inflight entertainment and communication (IFEC) solution. It incorporates an entertainment and media distribution system into the TriaGnoSys inflight GSM solution, GSMConneX, which was launched at Aircraft Interiors in April 2011. The lightweight modular system provides three services: GSM, WLAN and wireless streaming of IFE content, enabling business jet operators to combine the three services.

IFEConneX enables passengers to use their own mobile phone, tablet or laptop for calls, text messaging, emails, Internet connectivity, and for Audio and Video On Demand (AVOD). The solution has the capacity to stream individual content to up to 100 passengers simultaneously.

Company: VT Miltope
Booth: 1301
Contact Name: Jeff Drader / / 949 752 8191

Miltope’s family of network products offer the required functionality necessary to create custom airborne networks similar to how office networks are created. Designed to be readily expanded, they may be configured to define a network that optimizes the combination of interfaces and computing resources to meet the operational, spatial, and functional requirements of simple to complex airborne networks at a minimum cost. Products include servers, Ethernet switches and routers, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless access points, TWLU wireless bridging from an aircraft LAN to a ground LAN, ARINC 744 network printers and ARINC740 cockpit printer, cabin control panels, and data storage devices.

Editors Note: We thought Seattle visitors might like a bit more info on restaurants and we suggest visiting the Yelp website. While there are too many to name here, IFExpress has heard a few “WOW” comments on the following:
Within walking distance to the Conference:
RN 74 – 1433 4th Ave. (4th & Pike), Regional French Cuisine, 206 457 7474
Driving Distance from the Conference:
Revel – 403 N 36th St., Fremont District, Korean Fusion, 206 547 2040
Walrus & Carpenter – 4743 Ballard Ave. NW, American Seafood, 206 395 9227